Citing a statement from the CEO of Catcher Technology — a key Apple supply partner — Nikkei reports that one of Apple’s iPhone models in 2017 will feature a glass casing. If this ultimately pans out, it would mark the first time Apple has utilized a glass casing on the iPhone since 2011’s iPhone 4s.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Catcher CEO Allen Horng said: “As far as I know, only one [iPhone] model will adopt glass casing next year. I don’t think this move will have an impact on Catcher’s revenue as glass casing still needs a durable metal frame which requires advanced processing technology and would not be cheaper than the current model.”
Notably, Horng’s remarks align with a previous report from reputed Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo. Just last month, Kuo issued a research note indicating that Apple is working on a more glass oriented iPhone 7s design in order to differentiate the device from a smartphone market where most flagships more or less look and feel the same.
For those who are reasonably wary of glass adding extra heft to the iPhone 7s, Kuo believes that at least one iPhone 7s model will feature a AMOLED display, thus offsetting any potential increase in weight.
Is simply using glass enough to make the iPhone 7s stand out? Not really. After all, it’s not as if the design of the iPhone 4 would aesthetically stand out in the marketplace today. But that’s not the whole story: Kuo believes that Apple is currently working on an iPhone model with curved glass panels on both the front and back of the device.
Of course, the most interesting iPhone 7s rumor of all comes from John Gruber who last week hinted that Apple’s next-gen device may feature an edge to edge display with an embedded home button.
Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see what, if any, design changes Apple has in store for us when it unveils the iPhone 7 later this year. Last we heard, iPhone production has already kicked off and may include three distinct models.